Conservation Scientist – National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen

By Gianluca Pastorelli posted 08-03-2020 06:59


Project Researcher - Conservation Scientist

Statens Museum for Kunst (SMK), the National Gallery of Denmark, wishes to appoint a project researcher in conservation science for a 4-year employment.

The analytical focus will be on artists' materials and techniques, and on the deterioration of materials. The researcher will be part of the Department of Conservation and Scientific Research and affiliated with the Centre for Art Technological Studies and Conservation (CATS), working closely with other staff. The working language is English and/or Danish.

The position is associated with two research projects, The Vilhelm Hammershøi Digital Archive (VHDA) which will document Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershøi’s painting technique and materials, and Identifying lead compounds and why they darken in white highlights in master drawings: provenance, production, trade, application and degradation (ILC), as well as other ongoing research and analysis primarily related to SMK’s collection and museum preservation issues covering the range of the collection.



  • Undertake research for the above-mentioned projects, which will involve scientific analysis of works of art, data interpretation, writing reports, as well as presentation and publication of results. In addition, both projects will occasionally require selection and analysis of samples, while the research on darkening lead compounds will also entail periodical phases of experimental design. On average, the VHDA project will take up two days a week and the ILC project one day a week.
  • Undertake research for the benefit of collections care. Research will focus on materials and techniques of a wide range of objects within the visual arts (i.e. paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings from Denmark and abroad, dating from the 14th century to the present day). On average, this will take up two days a week.
  • Carry out essential tasks related to all the research activities: examination of works of art using non-destructive analytical techniques – including FTIR, Raman, UV-Vis-NIR reflectance, XRF (handheld and macro-scanner) spectroscopies and SEM/EDS  – as well as analysis of micro-samples and paint cross-sections; documentation and interpretation of analytical results, including the use of data processing and advanced statistical methods; presentation and publication of results at international conferences and in international peer-reviewed journals.
  • Assist the department staff in day-to-day activities related to: maintenance of the laboratory equipment; purchase of lab supplies and upgrade of the laboratory facilities; aiding the technicians in solving any potential problems; writing of research applications; occasional supervision and coordination of interns and students.



  • PhD in chemistry/physical sciences/conservation science.
  • Research experience in analytical chemistry and materials identification relating to art and artefacts.
  • A proven experience in working with real heritage artefacts is a strong advantage, as is experience in carrying out research in a museum environment and collaborating with conservators.
  • Knowledge of art and art history is desirable, as is the ability to disseminate and communicate the subject matter of scientific research to a non-technical and/or non-professional audience.
  • It is an advantage if the candidate has proven ability to carry out joint research projects in collaboration with curators as well as with conservation scientists and conservators from other institutions.
  • Experience in drafting research applications on an international and/or EU level is desirable, but not mandatory.
  • Strong publication record.
  • Excellent mastering of English as work language is essential.


Salary and employment conditions:

Salary and other employment conditions is in accordance with agreement between the Ministry of Finance and Danish Association of Masters and PhDs and rules regarding research staff under the Danish Ministry of Culture. 

The position is open for appointment as soon as possible, and working hours are 37 per week.

The work address is Sølvgade 48-50, 1307 Copenhagen, Denmark.

The candidate who is offered the position must undergo a security clearance, ”Niveau fortroligt” (EU classification: “Confidential UE”). Recruitment is subject to approval by the museum of eventual information that may appear in connection with the security clearance.            


Application procedure:

You apply for the job via our e-recruitment system on

Please click on the job-title and upload a letter of intent and a résumé, as well as the names and contact details of three professional references. A scientific curriculum including a record of peer-reviewed publications, for evaluation by the committee, must also be forwarded. Please do not attach the actual publications, only a list. All material is to be submitted in English.

When you have uploaded relevant documents via the e-recruitment system, you will receive an automatically sent confirmation.

An academic evaluation committee will assess the applications cf. applicable rules regarding research staff under the Danish Ministry of Culture.

The application etc. must be uploaded no later than 16 August 2020.



If you have any questions in regard to the application procedure, please contact HR-consultant Christian Svanning Mikkelsen, +45 2552 7103; 

Further information about the position may be obtained from Pil Rasmussen, Director of Conservation +45 2552 7130;